Rigor in Play, Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the definition of rigor and it was a bit alarming at first.

In Part 2, we focused on achieving rigor through play by intentionally challenging our little ones, challenging being one of the key terms in our definition of educational rigor.

In Part 3, I want to really drive home a point about rigor:

Rigor may feel uncomfortable at times, but we have to embrace that in order to optimize and allow for learning to occur.

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The Little Old Ladies Who Drive Me Nuts!

On any given day when I’m out with my three monstruitos, I’ll get lots of looks and comments from strangers. They might be men or women, young or old, parents or not, even other kids.

There’s the “Oh! Wow! Twins!” as people realize the stroller has another seat below with another baby.

“You have three! And you’re alone!?! You have your hands full!” as they process that my oldest is only a toddler and yes, I’m out alone.

“Wow, you are so lucky/blessed! Boy and girl twins…”

“They are all so good!” Thank God! Sí, son angelitos aunque les digo monstruitos. And, honestly, they’re all their best when we are out.

“You are Super/Wonder Woman/Mom”. ❤️

Of course, I LOVE the positive, confidence-building comments! And I make sure to keep that love rolling to other moms and dads I see, because we’ve got to build each other up. Life, love, parenthood… it’s all hard.

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Rigor in Play, Part 2

Rather than argue why rigor and play are not  opposing ideas or camps in early childhood education (see Rigor in Play, Part 1), isn’t the best way to demonstrate the point, simply to show HOW we achieve rigor through play?

To do so, let’s pull out some of the key elements from our educational definition of rigor. Let’s start with challenging.

Ensuring that children’s play is challenging requires a few things from us (maybe even challenging ourselves first). 

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Rigor in Play, Part 1

If you are a teacher or follow educational trends, you are quite familiar with the term rigor. You probably have a love/hate relationship with it. Yet many teachers struggle with really defining it or explaining it to parents.

So, let’s search Google for a dictionary definition. Wait, wait, nope, that’s startling. Hell, even depressing.

Webster’s definition includes words like: harsh inflexibility, severity, unyielding or inflexible, strictness, austerity, even cruelty, extremity of cold, rigidity, stiffness, strict precision, and a definition for the medical term rigor mortis. Yikes, people! How does this word belong in education?

Continue reading Rigor in Play, Part 1